JEFF GORDON: “Half the battle and goal of this race is to learn something for next week’s Duel and the 500. The car was definitely, as far back as I was, they become a handful a couple laps before that. But handling wasn’t an issue. We had good handling. We need a little more speed, so we’ll work on that. But I can’t tell if guys are just getting out of control or if they’re getting hit or what’s going on. But several guys started shuffling back to the back and right there I saw somebody loose on the inside and the outside lane somehow was affected by it and it was a domino by the time it got back to me and we were in it.
CAN YOU TELL US YOUR VERSION OF THAT AND WHAT WERE YOU FEELING OUT THERE?
“I couldn’t see much. We were in that bottom lane that just got shuffled back early and so we were just slowly working our way back up there. I saw handling started to become an issue for quite a few guys, a little bit for myself, but not too bad. I just saw somebody get sideways going down into (turn) one and then our lane checked up and they started getting turned and we started wrecking.”
TALK ABOUT THE HANDLING IS THAT A GOOD THING FOR NASCAR RACING?
“Yeah, but you as a driver have more responsibility now about how you are going to drive out there because the cars are going to move around a little bit more. They are going to get turned around a lot easier, so you can’t be running into one another. You can’t be turning across guys; you have to utilize that handling to your advantage after a longer run. I like that part of it.”
ANY SURPRISE IN YOUR MIND THAT IT HAPPENED THIS EARLY?
“Yes and no, I thought at the start of the race everybody was doing a pretty good job of watching. Even when we were three-wide it wasn’t too bad. Then I started seeing some guys start to lose the handling on their car and start to get a little out of control. I started paying a little bit more attention and was looking for cars to slide around. They were, but no incidences until then.”
DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE 150’S ARE GOING TO BE LIKE NOW?
“Well, if it warms up during the daytime handling is going to be a big, big issue. That is going to be important and so we will look at the weather. We weren’t there long, but we learned a little bit and now we will watch what these guys are doing and try to learn some more for the duels.”
IT SEEMED LIKE THE INSIDE LANE WAS A BETTER LANE?
“It wasn’t for me at the beginning. At the beginning the inside lane was no good at all. Usually it’s not the lane it’s just how it’s formed. If you get guys stacked up that lane will start moving, the outside seemed to move early, but then it looked like the outside also started having some handling issues as we started to get more heat in the tires.”
-Team Chevy PR
HANDLING DIDN’T CAUSE THAT WRECK RIGHT?
“I haven’t seen it, but from what I heard no. I think handling at the end of this race when people started getting more aggressive it will probably contribute to some. The handling is what can lose some speed. It shouldn’t necessarily cause a wreck unless you are trying to be aggressive towards the end of a run and the handling is just not going to be as good.”
-Team Chevy PR